Using a Productivity Journal

I listened to the following podcast a couple of times today, and it features Mike Vardy and Shawn Blanc:

The Fizzle Show, episode 99: 2 Experts Share Exactly How to Use a Productivity Journal (& Increase Productivity by 23%)

At the end of each workday, Mike writes a freeform journal entry in Day One. His intent is to describe what did or didn’t work, then describe whatever is next. Minimal friction.

This time investment gives him a head start for weekly reviews. I dig!


Initially, I set five reminders1 in Day One for iOS. Then, I moved three work-specific reminders to Day One on my Mac, and kept two other on my iPhone.

To simplify, I’ll try writing daily in the evening — tagged “Daily Review” — with the help of a scheduled todo in Apple’s Reminders app.2

My goals for developing this new habit are to help me:

  • Summarize what I’ve done for the week more quickly (versus reviewing my Logbook in Things and my calendars).
  • Make weekly/monthly/yearly reviews less daunting.

  1. Three reminders for work (beginning, middle, and end of each day), then two personal. That’s too much, even at five minutes a pop. 
  2. This should be a calendar entry. Since I could punt it for a few minutes/hours (when needed), I’d rather not see it on my calendar. I’ll experiment! 🙂 

Hello, Day One 2!

I got the latest version of Day One for my Mac and iPhone, taking advantage of the 50% off pricing.1 Jake Underwood wrote a solid review at MacStories. I’m determined to get into a habit of writing regularly for myself.

Here are my notes during the migration from Day One Classic:

Next, I’ll start with a few reminders throughout each day on my phone. I haven’t before, but I’d like to see how I feel after adding that small habit. To make it quick, I can use my Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 Keyboard and Amy’s Glif (affiliate links) when I’m at my desk.

(I should review the Day One Uses page.)

Using this fine app, I look forward to being mindful of my thoughts, feelings, and actions on a regular basis.


Another cool tidbit: dayoneapp.com uses WordPress and Jetpack! ⭐


  1. I think today is the last day of the sale pricing for the iOS app. However, from the Day One listing in the Mac App Store, “Sale extended until Feb 17th to assist our users that have no yet heard about the new app, and those having trouble purchasing due to errors in the Mac App Store.” 

Day One Lightroom Plug-in

While it feels great to sift through Lightroom 5.7.11 and delete photos that don’t give me joy, there are some photos that seem worth saving in Day One. Philip Lundrigan saved the day created the Day One Lightroom Plug-in awhile ago2, and it works well. Lovely time saver. I’m glad I finally took a few minutes to search for it and install.

After you export the photo(s) to Day One, nothing else will visibly happen. You’ll need to open Day One to see the newly added image(s).

The following warning is worth emphasizing because it’s easy to get carried away:

Pictures that are exported can be extremely large and take up a lot of space in iCloud or Dropbox. You can use the normal Image Sizing options to scale down the picture.

I made a Day One export preset folder with a couple presets:

  • fullres (keyword added) — Under Entry Settings, this preset automatically adds the “fullres” tag.
  • 2000px long — Resizes the image(s) so the longest side is 2000 pixels. Under Entry Settings, this preset automatically adds the “2000px” tag.

For both, I’ll also automatically add a “LightroomExport” entry tag to make these easier to find within Day One.

I haven’t considered my workflow after exporting photo(s) to Day One. That’s a problem for future Bryan. 😉


  1. You can compare Creative Cloud Photography (which includes Lightroom), Lightroom 6, and Lightroom 5. I don’t need to “easily create HDR images and stunning superwide scenes with panoramas” or “easily find photos of specific people with facial recognition”, so I haven’t upgraded to Lightroom 6. 
  2. As of this writing, the most recent GitHub commits by Philip Lundrigan were on January 16, 2014